Marco Caldana, founder and chairman of the FARAD Group, a diversified financial servicesplatform for institutional clients, says a new era is dawning in which financial results are not the only benchmark by which clients value the group’s services
How would you sum up the FARAD Group?
The FARAD Group is an independent group of companies founded in Luxembourg in 2001, with a main focus on sustainable insurance and financial services. Over the past 20 years we have developed a comprehensive and competitive business-to-business and business-to-business-to consumer approach with specialised white label and regulatory hosted solutions. FARAD is a unique mix of multiple entrepreneurial projects that seek to combine Italian creativity with the Cartesian and Calvinist philosophies embodied in Luxembourg’s multicultural environment. We enjoy universal recognition for being in the forefront of respect, development and promotion of environmental, social responsibility and corporate governance standards
“We are a benefit corporation,which commits us to investing 5% of our profit in charity projects.”
What is the importance of ESG within your organisations and for you in particular?
We are a benefit corporation, which commits us to investing 5% of our profit in charity projects, having become a pioneer in the field and achieving B-Corp certification in 2017. We reject the idea of describing ESG as a “no-plastic policy” since we have never used plastic in our office from the beginning. ESG and impact finance have been in our DNA from the outset, and we have always sought to turn our beliefs into practice. We have been continuously developing new ESG projects and services under the GreenEthica brand. In 2016 we launched the GreenEthica fund database, which from 2018 has provided analysis on Sustainable Development Goals impact, and in the past two years we have developed the GreenEthica ESG/SDG scoring service, which enables our clients to analyse their portfolio and delivers a report on the impact of their investments. In 2017 we launched a first unit-linked product with a sustainable portfolio of assets and the BestSRI SICAV, a UCITS fund of funds showcasing our capabilities in sustainable portfolio management. I am convinced we are entering a new era in which financial results are not the only benchmark by which clients value our services. They increasingly focus on the how their money is invested and the impact on society. This was my dream 20 years ago when I launched my first company – not just to make money but to create a positive impact all round.
What opportunities and challenges do you see for the FARAD Group over the next five years?
We have the useful driver of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which can provide a blueprint for the future. From my side, I see two main opportunities in the next five to 10 years in which I would like to see my group act as a primary mover, the evolution of the circular economy, and renewable energy storage – two key ESG fields that represent the next industrial revolution. They may seem a long way from the purely financial industry, but I believe they are closely linked together, because the financial industry has the obligation to support these projects. We cannot imagine a future without major changes in our attitude. Consumerism, as a social and economic philosophy that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts, is dead. The challenge is to drive clients to this new approach and find a clear way in which to achieve financial and non-financial goals together.